Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had a great Christmas vacation. I spent it lounging around, reading Harry Potter, going through my belongings in the attic and weeding out things to throw away, hanging out with my family and friends, eating good food, shredding papers, buying presents, playing games, and partaking of the Christmas Spirit! I was the only one home with my parents for most of the time, and it was nice to spend time with them. We laughed a lot!

I have been thinking a lot about what makes Christmas so special. I've reflected on Christ's birth, time spent with family, traditions, and gifts. These things seemed like the most important things of the season. And I just finished a book called "Simplify Your Christmas" by Elaine St. James, that gave me some ideas about how I could really focus on these important things by cutting out the other unnecessary parts of the season that have taken over our culture. I found some really good suggestions that I plan on implementing in my own Christmases in the future. They include buying fewer presents, buying consumable presents so that presents don't clutter the receiver's life, reducing decorations, and not having a Christmas tree (it's not very green to be cutting down a tree every year and then throwing it into a landfill). They also include doing more service, taking time to meditate, choosing a symbol that your family can focus on, and creating traditions that don't add stress to your life. I loved it, and would recommend it.


Today I found out my grades for this past semester! I didn't expect them to be online yet, but I was looking at grades for past semesters in preparing my grad school application. And there they were! I am very pleased with my performance this last semester, especially considering how much I worked on homework and studying. I really feel like I worked harder this semester than any other semester I've had at BYU. I've had some other time consuming semesters, and I've had some harder classes, but this semester takes the cake, and I'm so glad it paid off. Time to celebrate!

Fictionist Album Release

Just a quick word about the band Fictionist:

They are releasing their CD at the Velour next week. They're a great band (I've been to a few concerts and have a CD...from when they were Good Morning Maxfield) and I would recommend the CD and the concert at the Velour. Here's the info:

DATE: January 9
TIME: Doors @ 8:00
VENUE: Velour
135 N. University Ave, Provo
COST: $7.00 at the door

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm graduated!

I have officially turned in my last final for my undergraduate degree! Finals were a less stressful than the last week of class, and now I have nothing to do but pack my stuff (I'm moving back to my old apartment complex) and get ready to go home for Christmas! I'm leaving on Sunday, hoping that the snow storm we're getting right now will be blown out by then. And then I'll come back to UT next Saturday so that I can be here for my nephew's ordination to be a deacon. Yay! Things are looking great!

I'm also starting a "new" job. I'm still working at the NMELRC, and I'm still doing some secretaryish things. But I'm also getting a raise now that I'm no longer an undergraduate, and I'm going to start working on a project for my boss Kirk. I'll be helping develop material for the "Best Practices" resources that the NMELRC wants to develop for teachers who teach Middle Eastern languages. It's going to be pretty interesting, and I'm way excited about it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Budget, Shmudget

So, there's a car dealership near my apartment complex that's called Mad Max's. I've always thought that it was an odd name for a car dealership, but whatever. It's kind of small, and definitely has a lot of "personality." Today I was riding the bike home, and because I was coming from a direction that I don't normally come from, I rode right next to Mad Max's. They have flags out on poles in front of the place and I was riding right underneath them. The flag's had skulls and cross-bones on them. Wow. I want to buy one of their cars.

But seriously, I do want a car. And I'm going to start saving for one immediately. Today I had a little crash on the bike, and before that I was freezing as I was riding the bike, and I realized (for like the 4th time in a week) that I need to buy a car. So, I'm going to start planning that into my budget, and we'll see how it goes!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh, the Irony!

BYU's newspaper, The Daily Universe, has been having a Christmas contest. The way it works is that every day they would print a section that had a question/puzzle that you had to fill out, with the help of things that you would find in the Daily Universe. After you filled it out (with your name, email address, BYU ID, etc.), you submitted it to the newspaper, and it was entered into a drawing. Every night, after all of the slips had been collected, 10 people were drawn from that day's entries. Those 10 people had their names printed in the paper the next day, and they could go to the DU's office to collect their prize: a $50 Visa gift card! If you didn't get drawn, the slip that you entered that day would be saved and entered into the big drawing at the end of the 8 days (during two weeks of school) that they were doing the drawings. The big drawing had prizes like a Wii and an IPod, and the prize that really wanted, a $500 Visa gift card. There were 8 days to enter, and I checked the newspaper everyday to see if I won and to enter again, but I never won.

I went to the big drawing on the last day. I was having a pretty bad day. I had two papers and a presentation to turn in, so I'd been up most of the night. I was still preparing my presentation, and my flash drive stopped working because of the stupid flash drive virus that is going around BYU campus. So, since I couldn't access my power point presentation to work on it, I decided to go to the prize drawing, and prepare some notes to use during my presentation. I watched as other people won, and got more and more depressed! I shouldn't have gone when I was so tired! I went to class pretty unhappy.

In class, my classmate Greg told me congratulations on winning. He had seen me filling out my form several times in class, and I think that he entered it too, although I'm not sure how often. I was so mad at him for teasing me about winning because I assumed that he'd been at the big drawing and knew that I hadn't won. I told him I hadn't won. He asked me, "Didn't you see your name in the newspaper today?" I had forgotten all about checking that day's newspaper because of the big drawing that was taking place that day. I looked in the paper, and sure enough my name was in there.

I went and got my gift card. I was so happy about it because I really wanted money! And when I went to use it to buy some groceries it wouldn't work!! I had already activitated it, but it wouldn't work. So I'm going to have to call the company again and find out what the deal is. But eventually I will have access to that $50, and it makes me happy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Check it Out!

Okay, so I follow a blog called Seriously, so blessed. It's pretty funny, and they have great giveaways! And by putting a link to it on my blog, I am entering myself into another of her drawings. Check it out for yourself (I'm not selfish; I'll share the chances to win).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Hilarious Linguistics Moment, brought to you by the letter C

Tonight, at final review for my syntax class, I heard an adult native English speaker ask, "So, I can't say, 'I saw cat the wet?'" The study of syntax is making us question things that we should never question! Haha! We were talking about how you can't separate constituents and move them to other parts of the sentence. It was pretty funny.

The more I study linguistics, the more I realize that it is a miracle that little children learn to speak.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I like being a nerd

This is so funny. In my field methods linguistics class we've been talking about the semantics and pragmatics of the phrase "oh snap." We've taught our teacher (40s-ish, Dr. Elzinga) how to use it, and he's pretty obsessed with it. I just found it used in a Gmail blog post and I can't wait to share it with my classmates! I think that some of them will disagree with the way that it's been used, but I think that it fits. Hilarious! And nerdy. I have realized that my classes--my entire university career--has changed the way that I look at the world, especially in a linguistic way.

Another example of this: I have been dealing with stats and stuff for my senior paper for the Linguistics senior seminar class (Ling 490). The research has been interesting, but I'll be happy when the paper is done and turned in. Anyway, I have also been entering my name in a daily drawing on BYU campus. They have two places on campus where you can enter yourself daily, and then the next day they publish in the paper the 10 winners that were drawn the previous night. As I was putting my name in today, I wondered about the statistical probability that an even number of the 10 people drawn each day came from both of the two locations where you can enter the drawing. I wanted to know how many people who had won already were people who were submitting their entries at the same location that I was...you see the reason for my interest, right? But I went so far as to ask the guys manning the booth if they knew if the program was keeping track of the locations that the winners submitted to, for statistical purposes. They said it wasn't being tracked. But I'm going to contact the Daily Universe and suggest that for next year. It will make the drawing more scientific if they can prove that your name has just as much chance being drawn from one location as the other (they're all put into one big bin for the drawing, but does one location have an advantage?). Yeah, I'm a nerd.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Jungle Cat

On Wednesday my boss, Maggie, threw a party to celebrate my graduation! It was a lot of fun, and I felt really happy! One of Maggie's good friends from school was visiting her, so she came to the party as well. While I was talking to her she related a funny story. She and Maggie had been communicating through email about what was going on in their lives. Maggie had told her that she was living in the mall. Her friend took this to mean that Maggie spent a lot of time in the mall. What Maggie really meant was that her condo is on top of the mall, and she really lives there! Her friend thought it was so funny when she discovered the truth. She had thought Maggie was speaking metaphorically.

So for our prompt tonight, I had everyone write a story about a metaphor literally happening. We got some creative responses. And I'm proud of mine, I must say. Here it is:

As I was finishing my daily walk, I noticed my neighbor's black cat sauntering down the road. Max was headed away from my neighbor's house, so I thought I'd pick him up and take him along home. He didn't seem too pleased with the idea, scratching my arm in a couple places, but I knew he was an inside cat and that my neighbor would want him returned.

As I walked up the front steps to Lynn's house, she came out to greet me. "You found him! I just noticed that he got out and I was about to go look." I handed over the cat, and in the process Lynn noticed my scratches. "Oh, he got you, did he? Come here to the kitchen and I'll get some band aids for you." As she rubbed some alcohol into the wounds, she talked about similar experiences in the past and apologized for the scratches. "He used to be quite the jungle cat, but I thought we had broken him of that habit."

Lynn was taking quite a bit of care to clean out the cuts, and being much more fastidious about it than I would have been if I'd been left alone. I wondered how much longer she would take. I wondered what time it was. I unconsciously tapped my foot.

"Oh, am I keeping you from something?"

"Oh...no. It's just a nervous habit." I couldn't bring myself to say that I was impatient to get home.

"Really?" She seemed intrigued. "Have you ever tried to stop?"

I wasn't really interested in the conversation; I just wanted to get home. I shook my head no.

"I have a great method for breaking all kinds of habits. Let me show you." She went to a drawer in the kitchen and pulled out something that looked like a chopstick. What was it? What was she saying as she waved it around? I couldn't understand her words, but that wasn't my main concern as I felt myself start to sink down towards the floor. I realized too late, and my only method of escape was to slither in my new, scaly body toward the door.

"Well, now you don't have any feet to nervously tap!" she said triumphantly. "It's a little bit of a radical change. I didn't have to change Max that much to break his deadly scratching habits. The difference between a jungle cat and a house cat is chiefly one of size. But I think I accomplished your remedy quite well." She opened the door politely to let me go.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

This morning I got up to campus earlier than I HAD to be, because I had to prepare for a presentation in class today. The sun was shining on the southeast faces of Timp, and it made me so happy to start the day!

I've been busy, busy, busy getting this project done, so I was inside most of the day. When I finally finished class, I wandered around a bit, getting various things done. I liked being outside because it has turned into quite a windy day. The breeze kept touching my face and hair.

The wind made me think about the vibrations I was hearing that were caused by the wind (I've had all kinds of weird thoughts about vibrations ever since I started my phonetics class.), and it made me wonder: If there was wind around me, but I was in a place where there was nothing for the wind to move, and it was just the wind moving past my ears, would I hear anything? And then I thought about it some more and came to the conclusion that I would because of the change of air pressure inside my ear from the wind going past.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm a bawl baby!

Tonight, for Family Home Evening, I read a talk by Elder James Faust. It was a talk in the December 2004 Ensign. In it he quoted a story told by a U.S. Marine posted in Nagasaki a few months after the atom bomb was dropped. It was a story about surviving Japanese Christians, and a Christmas concert they put on for the U.S. Marines stationed there. The music emphasized the power of the Savior to bring peace to our lives. My plan was to talk about Christmas music and its power to bring the Christmas Spirit to people, and then invite the group to go Christmas caroling. When we began the lesson, the group was small, just three other girls. I was a little disappointed at first. But as I read the story I started to cry. I felt the Spirit really strongly testify to the four of us. And I was glad that I didn't have to cry in front of any of the guys in our group! And some of them showed up in time to come caroling with us, so we had some deep voices and high voices blended together. We went to sing to the firemen at the fire station just down the street, but they were already having some kind of Christmas program! So we ended up singing outside of the local grocery store to a few passing shoppers. I hope it brightened their night!

Because of this beautiful FHE experience, I've decided that I'm going to read a Christmas story from the Ensign every night in the month of December. I may share the stories with the blog or people around me from time to time. I almost certainly will cry regularly at the stories that touch my heart. And I hope that it is a good way to prepare myself to celebrate the birth of my Lord.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting to Know Your Friends, Christmas Style

I'll try not to be a SCROOGE and pass on this tag that I got (via email) from Alisha Weston. I tag Erin, Annie, and Laura

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper - I like to use the comics for wrapping paper!

2. When do you put up the tree? Between Thanksgiving and the week before Christmas. I've never personally put up a tree; it's always been done by my mom or roommates. But when I am putting up my own tree I think I will do it right after Thanksgiving.

3. When do you take the tree down? A little after the New Year

4. Favorite gift received as a child? Two mice, with a cage, sawdust, food bowl, running wheel, and some other stuff for them. Everyone's gift to me that year was for my mice!

5. Hardest person to buy for? Everyone! I have such a hard time deciding what a good, meaningful gift would be for people. I've tried to start thinking of gift ideas way earlier in the year, otherwise I end up getting really dumb gifts for people. (I don't mind spending the money, though. You give me a good idea, and I'll buy it!)

6. Easiest person to buy for? Nicole Cordon. We just tell each other exactly what we want from each other!

7. Do you have a nativity scene? I do have one, a rubber ducky set!

8. Mail or email Christmas cards? I've never sent out Christmas letters or cards! But I think it's a tradition I'd like to start. I'd probably do half and half emailing and mailing.

9. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Glow in the dark plastic dolphins...when I was at least 20 years old!

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas

11. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I'm willing to admit!

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Eggnog!
13. Lights on the tree? Lots of white lights

14. Favorite Christmas song? Far, Far Away on Judea's Plains

15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Traveling home from school

16. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen

17. Angel on the tree top or a star? An angel

18. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Our family opens one present on Christmas Eve, and then the rest of them on Christmas Morning.

19. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Having to come up with gift ideas (again).

20. What theme or color are you using? Christmas!

21. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Clam chowder. Yum!

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Official

I moved apartments this week! All of my stuff is out of Lorie and Alec's apartment, so it's clean and awaiting their return!

And I'm alone in my new apartment because Jamie, my new roommate, went home for Thanksgiving. I went away for Thanksgiving too, but just up to Brigham City (If I lied to you earlier and said I was going to SLC, sorry! I was confused!), so I'm back before she is. I'm getting used to the place. It's in the same complex as the old apartment, so there's not THAT much to get used to, but there are some different noises here. The one that sticks out the most: the kissing noises that the fridge/freezer makes. It makes kissing sounds! I'm really not kidding. Every once in a while it will kick in with this whining sound, and then the kissing noises will start. Do you think it's trying to entice me? Interesting...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

9th East

Within the last 24 hours I've had two fun experiences going up the hill of 9th East from my house. Yesterday afternoon I was walking up 9th East, and I past a yard with a short chain link fence so I could see into the yard. I was noticing the fire pit and back yard furniture. Then I noticed a little sign attached to the fence next to the apple tree at the back part of the yard. It said, "Manzanas gratis. Lleve como quiere." "Free apples. Take as many as you want." I picked an apple from an obliging tree limb, grateful for the snack as I walked along.

Then, this morning, I was riding my bike very early up to the MTC to do some janitorial work. Yes, that's right, I told my former boss Shirley that I would come back and do a few days work during the Thanksgiving week because some of her students left Provo for the holiday. So, as I was riding my bike up 9th East in the pre-6 am hour, I saw a shooting star! It was really bright, and it was ahead of me and to the left a bit so I had a perfect view of it as it fell. It was very lovely!

I'm excited for the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm going to spend it with my sister Jenny, her kids, and my brother-in-law Craig and his family. Yay for Turkey Day!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Abs Hurt!

But I'm grateful for my classmates for inviting me to come work out with them. I haven't worked out in a LONG time, and I've been thinking about getting back into it. I'd really like to start running again. But in order to do that I really need some motivation. Right now the internal motivation I have, knowing that exercise will feel good, is not enough to overcome all of the "other" things that I could do with my time. I could be cleaning, doing laundry, packing, doing homework, reading, doing things for my church responsibilities, sleeping. So it was very nice to have an external force reminding me that exercise would feel good, with the added incentive of peer pressure! They invited me last week, but I flaked out on them for some homework. This afternoon, however, I finished my only assignment due this week before going to work out, so I didn't have anything really nagging me to do it instead. Except packing...and preparing for FHE...and working on my powerpoint slides for my presentation next week...But I'll never have everything done, right? Why wait for that to happen?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lorie's Bike

It's been my mode of transportation this semester. I've ridden it all over town. And I have ALL KINDS of adventures on it.

Adventure #1 - Lorie's front brakes don't work. So I always have to have my right hand on the handlebars to brake when I need to. I, however, really like riding with no hands, especially when I misjudge how cold it is outside and I need to use both of my hands to re wrap my scarf and zip up my coat while I'm riding. So one morning I was riding along, performing my act, when a car pulled out of the Maverick I was passing, right in front of me, and I just barely got my right hand down to pull on the brakes before I hit this guy. I've GOT to start getting out the door on time so I have a few minutes to spare for readjusting my clothing to the cold rather than doing it while I'm riding.

Adventure #2 - One morning, a few weeks ago, I was riding along to school, minding my own business, when a car door swung open in front of me. I swerved and was able to miss it. That was the first adventure of that kind, and hopefully the last.

Adventure #3 - This is the most recent adventure, and the one that prompted this post. I was planning on having a dessert night with my friend/ex-teacher/ex-boss Rachel and her husband tonight, so I went to the store last night to buy ice cream and root beer. I parked the bike, went in, made my purchase, and came back to the bike. As I was unlocking the bike, I heard a man talking on the payphone down the sidewalk. He was talking strange. I'm not sure how to describe it, but his speech was being affected by something. He didn't have a speech impediment, and he was a native English speaker. I figured I didn't really want to stick around to figure out what the deal was. So I start pedaling a little faster than usual on my way back home. So when I went over a bump going off the sidewalk, I bumped a little harder than usual. And I'm not sure the bag could have withstood the usual bump, anyway. Under the pressure of the root beer bouncing up and then crashing back down into it pretty hard, the bag tore, dumping my ice cream and soda onto the pavement. I thought I had hit a rock and popped the tire because the hiss of soda escaping from the bottle was the first thing that alerted me to the problem. The second thing that alerted me to the problem was the soda that was being sprayed in my face and all over my clothes. In the end, though, there was still a half bottle left of root beer, and it still tasted really good with the ice cream.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Here are some news items that I'd like to share with all of you:

1. I'm moving in the next week! Lorie and Alec are getting married a week from today, and they want me out when they come back from their honeymoon (Selfish! They don't want me to share their house with them?). So I'll be moving into another apartment in our complex. My friend Jamie said that I could live with her for the month of December until I moved into my new place. And...

2. I'm moving back to Alta in January! Yay! I loved living in Alta before, and I think that it will be great to be back there again. It's such a short distance from BYU campus, the temple, and the English Language Center where I will (hopefully) be spending a lot of my time once I'm in the TESOL Certificate Program. And...

3. I'm applying for the TESOL Certificate in January! I've been working on making my online portfolio and resume better, and I've talked to a couple of people about writing me letters of recommendation. And I'll have graduated then, so my grades for this semester will be in, which I think will improve my GPA a bit. I really do feel like I've done well in my classes this semester. I just have to keep up the work until the end. I have group projects to work on in 4 of my 5 classes, so it'll be a rough end to the semester. But I can do anything for 4 weeks, and that's all I have left in the semester, including finals week. Yay!

Well, that's all my news for now. I am grateful for the developments in my life recently. And I'm so glad to graduate!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surprise Birthday Party

My mom's 60th was on Saturday. And we surprised her by dropping in on her surprise birthday party! My dad is so cute, and decided to organize a surprise birthday party for her that night, tricking her into thinking that they were going to have dinner with just our neighbors, but really inviting several friends from church and other places. Well, when us kids heard about this, we decided that we wanted to be in on the surprise too! So earlier that week we all started making arrangements to travel to Flagstaff (only one sibling lives in Flagstaff). I was so excited about it all week, and thought about it a ton! And actually, on our way into Flag I thought to myself, "Did I blog about the surprise party?" It's totally the kind of thing that I would blog about (hence this post), and I'm totally the kind of person to forget the fact that my mother reads my blog! And I'm sure that that feeling of having spilled the beans was enhanced by the fact that I HAD posted this about my mom and her birthday. Fortunately, it was a false alarm and I hadn't ruined the surprise. The Packard memory strikes again!

So, all of us kids drove secretly to Flag this weekend and waited until about 20 minutes after the first surprise has been sprung on her. This is Ellie and Jace, while we're waiting.

Then we went over to our neighbors' (Lois and Nicole) house. We went in the front door quietly. My mom's back was turned toward the front door, so she didn't see us come in.

My Dad said that he had one more surprise for my mom, and then asked one of the us to come put our hands over mom's eyes to see if she could guess who it was. He specifically asked for someone "shorter" so that one of the grandkids would go up. Taylor did it.

After she guessed for a bit, they turned her around! Here are our faces as we yell surprise!

And here is her face when she saw us all! She was so surprised!

After the surprise, we all sat around and ate and talked and laughed and had fun and took a lot of pictures, as you can see below! Here I am picking my nose! Just kidding! You can see that my finger is just to the side of my nose, and closer to the camera, although I don't know what I'm pointing up for. Just thought it was funny!

Aren't the people in my family great!

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Two Good Things...Again!

For Two Good Things this week we wrote things that we were grateful for for every letter of the alphabet. The constraints were that we had to write more than one word for each entry, although they didn't have to be alliterative.

A to Z What I'm Grateful For

A lazy day
Benjamin Packard
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
Erin Packard Householder
Friends that love me
Good books
Hymns, lullabies, duets
Ice cream!
Joel, Joy, Jenny, Jill
Karl G. Maezer (just kidding, I couldn't think of a K)...Kidding around!
Laughter that heals my heart
Mom, Matt
New clothes
Optometry visit discounts
Playing in the rain
Quiet afternoons with my journal
Refreshing beverages after exercise
Sunny days at Beaver Creek
Technological advances
Unique cups, plates, bowls
Voices that blend naturally together
Wealth in my country
Xanthan gum
Yellow and blue anything
Zest flavoring

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two Good Things Part VII

It's been a long time! I was sick one week. And TGT was canceled one week. And I forgot about it last week! My schedule was thrown off because I normally get a ride with Sara straight from the temple to Chelsea's house, but I didn't go to the temple last week because of the need to get some school work done. So, aside from all of those excuses, it felt good to be back at Two Good Things tonight.

Each night we share good news with each other before we start writing. My good news was really fun, because it was more just sharing a good experience I'd had. While I was waiting for Sara to pick me up tonight from the temple, a lady pointed out the moon to me. It's a full moon, and there were clouds in front of it, but pretty wispy clouds so the light shown through pretty brightly. This caused a halo around the moon to appear, which was really pretty. I've seen the moon with a halo before, but as I kept looking at it I realized that on the outside of the halo there was a rainbow! Starting on the outside was the red, then orange, and so on, until the purple that was next to the white light of the normal halo! It was amazing! I just kept staring at it until the clouds blew away and I was left with just Mr. Moon. I've never seen anything like that before, and I don't know if I'll ever see it again. It was so beautiful. I'm glad I didn't have a camera with me because it could never capture the beauty that I saw, and I would have been so disatisfied.

Our prompt tonight was actually taken from The One Minute Writer. From what I've seen of it, it has some great prompts. It's really hard to write anything good in one minute, though, so it's a challenge. Normally we take quite a bit of time to write in response to our prompts, so having the limit was fun. Here are the results of 5 0ne-minute writing sessions:

1. What modern technology would you have trouble living without? - The modern technology I would have trouble living without would be my cell phone. I use it to connect to my most important people (sorry all you blog readers!).

2. Write about a war veteran you have know of, or known personally. - My dad is a ward veteran of the Vietnam War. He was in the National Guard (stayed in the U.S.), jumped out of planes, and developed a sense of independence to pass on to his family.

3. Write about a memorable party or gathering you attended. - A memorable party too place at my cousin's roommate's house. We read poetry, played guitar, and told jokes. It made me realize I like the "open mic" style of beatnik cafes and should seek them out.

4. What affect has a child, whether yours or someone else's, had on your life? - My niece Ellie has made me see my sister Erin in a different light. She is a strong woman, who can raise a child into adulthood. She is a mother who will have all the answers. She is beautiful in a way that is eternal.

5. Write about something nice a stranger did for you. - As I wait outside the temple, several people ask if I need a ride. I don't, but it's nice to be noticed and cared for. Even a stranger can make me feel loved!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm thankful for my computer and the internet.

But it is TAKING OVER MY LIFE! Last night I spent way too much time reading blogs. Who's?, you might ask, since I unsubscribed to so many blogs? Well, I spent most of that time reading a complete stranger's blog that I found through a link on another blog. Which was this other blog? An almost complete stranger's that I found through a link on another blog that I actually subscribe to. I'm not going to admit how late I stayed up. So, I think that I'm going to come up with a rule for myself that I'm not allowed to use my computer at home unless it is for school work, church, finances, or some other responsible activity. All blog reading must take place on campus, so that I am restricted to the lateness of the hours that I dedicate to blogging. It's sad that I have to do this, but necessary for the time being. I need to focus on classes and schoolwork, just until the end of the semester. This is my last semester of classes for awhile, and then I'll be pretty free after December. I just have to be strict until then.

On a more serious note, I'm thankful for when things don't turn out like you thought they would or wanted. Sometimes this is disappointing. Sometimes this is painful. But I am thankful for any experience that forces me to shut down my "take charge" attitude and pay attention to the things that I don't have control over...and to examine more closely the things that I DO have control over. A little more self examination never hurt anyone.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weird Dreams

I read this post on Seriously, So Blessed this morning, and I thought it was hilarious because I had just been telling Lorie about my crazy dreams I had last night. So, in true TAMN fashion, here is my dream from last night:

I dreamed that Sister Miller from my mission was getting married (she really got married a couple months ago) and she decided to get all the sisters together to give away some old clothes she didn't need anymore now that she was getting married. We were having the party at one of her friends' house, and when she was done giving away her clothes Sister Miller said that she also wanted to make available some clothes and shoes that she had already given to this friend. She looked kind of unhappy. She went downstairs to her basement and brought up some mismatched shoes, and then went back to get some more. Miller said that she had given a ton of clothes to this girl already, so one of the other sisters went down to see if she needed help carrying it all up. When they didn't come back after a while, we went down the stairs to see what was going on. I was at the front, and I saw that the friend was really holding the sister hostage, and that she was setting off some explosives! I yelled to the sisters to all get away from the house because it was going to explode! It turned out that this friend was an alien and that she was trying to hide some alieny stuff in her basement. Then some government official showed up and was like, "We knew something strange was going on in this neighborhood. A spaceship landed around here and we never found it!" Yeah...odd.

I'm thankful for things that make me laugh when I wake up in the morning!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The last post was an experiment, to help my mom learn how to use Reader. We needed a post on my blog that she hadn't read, so I provided one for her.

I'm thankful for moms (mine, in particular) who want to learn how to better stay in contact with their daughters (me, in particular). This Saturday is my mom's birthday (I'm sure she wouldn't want me to post her age here on my blog, but let's just say that in another 40 years she'll be 100), so I'm going to make a special post for all of the things that I'm thankful for about her then. In the mean time, I'm very thankful for all of the cool settings and options that Google produces for blogs and email and things (I also explained how to use labels and how to archive things tonight).



Thursday, November 6, 2008


I am thankful for snow. We had our first real snow fall this week, where the snow actually stuck to the ground and where the snow actually made me uncomfortable as I biked to campus. And it was wonderful! There are still some pockets of snow left here and there, and I expect us to get some more snow soon. It's winter!

Monday, November 3, 2008

I'm thankful for my financial situation...

In church on Sunday, we had a great lesson about budgeting and money-managing. I thought it was a great thing to do for a single's ward, where there are a lot of young people just realizing the importance of money-managing, especially as the economic state of the country is becoming a big influence in our lives. So I have decided to adopt a few of the suggestions that I heard Sunday into my own financial plan. Here are a few of the things that struck me:

Having a budget. This is the simplest thing that you can do to help yourself manage your money, and I've heard it so many times. And I've even made budgets before, but they have been much more simple than the monthly budgets that are recommended. I have made budgets for a semester, in order to determine what I needed to earn and what I would spend for the semester as a whole (in a very general way, of course, because it was for the whole semester). I saw them as a good way to estimate costs and income, and to have a general plan. But a monthly budget is a good way to keep yourself accountable to the overall budget. Also, tracking your expenditures for the first month of budgeting was recommended so that you could see what areas of your budget for the next month needed to be adjusted so you can have a realistic budget. Tracking also ties into the next great tip I got...

Trim off unnecessary purchases. During the tracking stage, I'm sure I'll notice all kinds of purchases that I "need" but don't really need. I'm sure I'll also notice areas where I spend more than I should, even if the purchase is necessary. I can take these trends into consideration for my budget for the next month, and also just in my thoughts about purchasing things. This will get me in the habit of thinking about a purchase before I make it and saying, "Does this fit into my budget?" If there's something that I want to buy that doesn't fit into my budget, I can plan it into a future budget and save for it.

"Save for it." The concept of saving for something has a few benefits. 1) Those things that really aren't worth buying will fall by the wayside. Those things that are really important to me will be saved for and bought. This limits unimportant purchases. 2) If I save for something, this does a couple things to save money based on interest: While I'm saving for an item, the money I'm saving for it is earning interest in the bank, and when I pay for an item with saved money instead of paying with credit and paying for it later, I don't have to worry about paying interest on the money I borrowed to pay for the item. And it's only putting off the purchase a little bit. 3) An interesting concept that a guy in my ward brought up was the idea of saving for something now that he doesn't need now but that he knows he will need in the future, like a car. He has a good car, but he knows that he will eventually need a new car. Why not start saving for it now so that he can borrow less (or nothing) when that purchase becomes necessary? That reduces the amount of interest he has to pay.

Paying yourself. I've heard this idea before yesterday, but it was good to hear it again. Just like we budget 10% of our money each month to pay tithing to the church, we should also budget 10% of our income to put directly into savings. I think that this can go into several different "funds" of money for the different things you're saving for, or just one fund of general savings. Maybe, if you're earning enough, you can allot 10% for general savings, and then additional percentages for items you're saving for.

Get out of debt. They gave examples of good schedules for paying several creditors so that you reduce the amount of interest your paying on your different debts. The idea that really struck me was that I should be saving now to pay off my student loan. I have 6 months after I graduate without any interest being charged on that loan, and my goal is to save the total amount of the loan before any interest starts accumulating. So I just started planning that into my budget!

There are lots of other suggestions and helps on the church website http://www.providentliving.org/. Check it out!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thanks Giving

I am so glad it's November! Thanksgiving Day is coming up, and I'm going to follow my cousin's example and focus my blog posts on things I'm thankful for this month.

I am thankful for the Book of Mormon. It's a book of scripture that was written by ancient prophets to testify of Jesus Christ, and it was brought forth by a modern-day prophet, Joseph Smith, to be a companion witness with the Bible.

A couple verses from the Book of Mormon that teach about giving thanks are Alma 34:37-38. In these verses a prophet names Amulek is testifying. He says, speaking of the things that he desires the people to do:

"That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."

I am thankful for Jesus Christ and for all that he has done for me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I am a linguistics nerd...

"To louse a person and eat their lice." That's a Lushootseed idiom for the verb "to love." Neat isn't it? Think about it: it's one thing to help a person become "better" or "cleaner" by lousing them and helping them get rid of their lice. It's an entirely other thing to eat their lice.

If you apply this to people's faults, this shows one real way of looking at love. You can like someone, and want to help them overcome their faults. But it's when you are ready to "eat" their faults, accept them as part of the person that you love, that you know you really love them.

This is one of the many reasons I love my major!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

10 Things About a Guy That Turn Me Off

This was our prompt for TGT tonight. Here's what I came up with:

1. Only opening my door on the first date and thinking he can get away with not opening it again after that.
2. Not listening when I'm talking (I can tell by the dumb questions he asks later).
3. Not adding to the conversation - We'll be sitting in dull silence if I'm not doing the talking.
4. A mustache.
5. Ending a phone conversation without saying "good-bye" or some other form of conversation ender.
6. B.O.
7. Too much attention early on in the relationship.
8. An annoying lip-smacking tick.
9. Not wanting to make decisions about the date (restaurant, activity, etc.)
10. Too feminine. (Enough said)

We had some new girls (I don't know why I call them girls; everyone's married but me) come tonight, and it was fun to have some new blood in the group. I hope Alisha and Jenny come again, and maybe some more new people. Does anyone who reads my blog live in this area and want to join Two Good Things? It's only for women who are interested in getting together to write, listen, talk, laugh, and eat dessert.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I've realized that my life has become a little wrapped around the blogs I read. You wouldn't think so, with how infrequently I post on my blog, but that's because all of the time that I spend in the blogging world is spent reading and not writing! And when I do post, it's usually a tag, or posting my writing from Two Good Things. Things have GOT to change!

I want to consider this blog as my journal that I don't mind people reading...and pretty much my only journal right now. I haven't written in my journal since August. So that means that I need to start including my feelings and thoughts about events in my life, or I'm really going to start feeling like this blog is pointless.

So, first on the menu: cutting down on the blogs I read. That's the only answer. And I'm afraid that it's going to have to come from those blogs that I blog stalk first, which are kind of my "candy" blogs. I really like reading Seriously, So Blessed, and It's Complicated, but if I have to give up one of them it's going to be It's Complicated. It's an interesting blog about a divorcee's return to single life, but she's a complete stranger, and it's not as interesting as Seriously, So Blessed. I can easily give up The Sartorialist, but that's one that takes very little time to read (It's mostly just artsy photographs). I have decided that I won't give up Three Beautiful Things because it also takes very little time to read, and it brightens my day. And the rest of the random blogs I follow post so infrequently that it doesn't seem worth it to unsubscribe from them to save time.

So, then it comes down to choosing between my friends' and families' blogs. You guys are so good! You post things all the time, and they're interesting things! I don't want to have to cut anyone out! (And when I say "cut someone out" I mean unsubscribing to their blog on Google Reader. I'll still have the links to all the blogs on my blog so that I can visit whenever I want. And I could even resubscribe once this semester is over, probably. I'm just too busy right now!) What this all basically comes down to is this: I might not be reading your blog. And even if I am reading your blog, I probably will not be doing much commenting or responding to tags. You may think this is lame, but I have to do a revamp of my blog to survive (Hence the new look!).

Hmmmm...Yeah, it feels good to have decided that.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Photo Tag

I got this tag from Jo's blog. Someone had already tagged me for this one, but I forgot to do it, and then forgot who it was! :)

I am to go to my photos folder. Go to the fourth folder and the fourth photo and post the photo on my blog. Well, the 4th photo in the 4th folder was of the soda bath, which I've already posted on here, so I thought I'd go to the 5th photo in the 5th folder. And here it is:

This is a picture of some of my hiking-mates when I hike the Subway in Zion's this summer... a most excellent trip!

I tag anyone who feels like doing this one.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tagged by my cousin Kristen

Who: I tag Christen, Ginger, and Emily.

Subject: Wonderful Qualities. List every member who lives in your home. Include 5 wonderful qualities each member holds.

The Catch: You must include yourself.

Why: It's easy to just go about each day and forget to be grateful.

I decided to include my roommate Lorie, myself, and the two guys that spend a lot of time at our apartment: Alec and Jonny.


1. A home-maker. Lorie makes everyone who comes into our apartment feel comfortable and at home.
2. Good sister. Lorie's younger sister is in her first year at BYU, and Lorie is always talking to Lisa and hanging out with her, and I'm sure this makes it a much easier transition to college life than it would be otherwise.
3. Wonderful cook. Lorie not only cooks great meals, but she shares them with me sometimes! Yum!
4. Generous teacher. Lorie spends a lot of time on her job, making sure that her little 3rd graders have a great experience. What a great teacher!
5. Clean. Our apartment is clean most of the time, and I think that most of the messes are usually mine. So Lorie does a good job of keeping things orderly and looking beautiful.


1. Hard working. He is always working on homework, and is dedicated to doing well.
2. Kind. He always has kind words for Lorie and the things she's doing.
3. Service-oriented. Alec was Lorie's and my home teacher when we first met him at Alta a year ago. He cared about our needs, and always did what he could to help us out.
4. Friendly. I've never seen Alec unhappy with anyone.
5. Handy. Alec is always ready to do anything that we might need done to fix up the apartment.


1. Cheerful. I usually look on the bright side of things, and try to recognize the positive things that outweigh the bad things that I experience.
2. Changeable. I like trying new things, and I will add them to my routine if I like them enough.
3. I'm getting better at being organized. I know my limits (as far as mental organizational skills go), so now I use a planner and the reminders on my phone to make myself a much more responsible person than I used to be.
4. Musical. I love to sing. And I love to listen to all kinds of good music. It's just fun.
5. Dedicated. I like to stick to my task. Once I have committed myself to something, it's hard to persuade me to let it go.


1. Cute. I think Jonny's one of the most attractive men of my acquaintance.
2. Playful. He likes to do fun things and will never think an activity is too silly.
3. Caring. I can see this when he talks about the residents at his work, the Provo Care Center. He deals with mentally handicapped residents every day, and he really does care about them. And I saw this tonight, also, when he didn't win Skip-Bo on purpose so that I could catch up from way behind, which really isn't his preferred technique because he is...
4. Competitive. Jonny likes to compete, but also just to play competitive games. He doesn't always have to win, but he likes the game.
5. Comfortable. Jonny makes anyone feel instantly comfortable around him. He is a people person that can get along great with all kinds of people.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You're it!

No Two Good Things this week. It was canceled. But I do have this tag from an email my dad sent. You share your list of recent woes, joys, adventures, challenges, accomplishments, and failures, in no particular order.

Joy: I am in a wonderful relationship right now! I'm dating this guy named Jonny. We've been dating a little over a month now, and we've had a lot of fun together. He's from Spokane, WA. We met in our ward. We spend time together everyday, and it's the highlight of my day.

Woe: I don't have enough time! I should say, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed with how many things I have to do with my time. I have classes, and work, and volunteering, and Jonny! But I've talked to Mom quite a bit about this, and I'm starting to feel like there are some things that I can do to make my time more productive. I've also started asking Jonny to do homework with me so that we can spend time together AND get things done! So things are working out.

Failure: I still have a sense of failure when I don't get everything done that I want to. I am trying to tell myself that some things just need to be cut out and that it's okay, but I have been and probably still am a perfectionist (you told me so, Dad) and some of those tendencies are hard to give up. I want to do well in school my last semester!

Accomplishment: I am graduating in December. Besides having served a mission for a year and a half, I'd have to say that this is the biggest accomplishment of my life so far. I am so looking forward to it. I know that it will represent years of my life, not only working hard at school and grades, but also the fun and growing experiences I've had here at BYU. What a thing to look back on with satisfaction!

Adventure: I found a job for after I graduate!! Yes, I'm going to have a real job! So, the funny thing is that it's really at the office that I work in now, but I'm going to be paid more, and I'm going to be working on more language related projects which I haven't been working on. So this experience will actually be helpful on my resume, rather than just being a nice paying secretary job, like it has been. I am adventuring into adulthood!!!

Challenge: Because I have decided to stay in Provo, I'm now looking for housing for January. I actually need a place to live starting at the end of November because my roommate is getting married, and for some reason she and her then husband won't want me living here with them! Curious... So I'm looking for a place to stay, preferably not too expensive. I have a couple of leads of places I can stay in the same area I'm living now so that I can still attend the same congregation. Hopefully that works out.

I am tagging Xan, Emily and Benjamin, and Alisha.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Two Good Things - Part VI

I'm a little late putting up my Two Good Things post this week. Our prompt was to choose three songs that have influenced our lives and write about them.

-Each Life that Touches Ours for Good
-On an Island in the Sun
-When They Really Get to Know You, They Will Run

I like "Each Life that Touches Ours for Good" because of all of the good people who have touched me for good. Especially by my parents and my best friends from high school, I have been blessed with great influences that have guided me to who I am today.

And who I am today is someone who really enjoys the good things in life, including the gospel of Jesus Christ, school, family, good food, and sunny afternoons. All of these things can be summed up in my optimistic attitude. And a song that exemplifies this attitude is "On an Island in the Sun." I love this song! It brings me so much happiness to sing along because of the memories of so many good times I've had singing that song with friends, my cousin Geneil, and knowing that life was good.

Another song that i just discovered that has to do with being who I am is a song about being who you are, "When They Really Get to Know You, They Will Run." It's about not putting on a show for peopole when you realy want them to like you, and I like it when people show me that I can just be me aound them. That makes me feel valuable and worthwhile.

Okay, so this session might have produced writing that's a little cheesy. What of it!?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feel like playing along? You can only type ONE Word!

1. Where is your cell phone? floor

2. Where is your significant other? school

3. Your hair? brown

4. Your mother? giving

5. Your father? happy

6. Your favorite thing? Jonny

7. Your dream last night? funny

8. Your dream/goal? teach

9. The room you're in? living

10. Your hobby? sudoku

11. Your fear? failure

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? anywhere

13. Where were you last night? home

14. What you're not? finished

15. Your favorite muffin? poppy

16. One of your wish list items? books

17. Where you grew up? Flagstaff

18. The last thing you did? awake

19. What are you wearing? pajamas

20. Your TV? off

21. Your pet? none

22. Your computer? slow

23. Your life? busy

24. Your mood? content

25. Missing someone? Erin

26. Brand of your car? Porsche (I wish!)

27. Something you're not wearing? contacts

28. Favorite store? Target

29. Your summer? camping

30. Your favorite color? blue

32. When is the last time you laughed? kissing

33. Last time you cried? movie

34. Who you tag? everyone

Friday, October 3, 2008

Two Good Things - Part V - Presidential Blurb for Grasshoppers

Our prompt tonight was to write a two minute speech (as if we were a presidential candidate) about our favorite cookie and why it was the best. These were hilarious, and we were talking politics all night!

Well, I would have to say that Grasshoppers are the best cookies out there. They are the perfect blend of mint and chocolate, and besides that, they have a crispy crunch that satisfies. I firmly believe that eating Grasshopper cookies makes you a better person!

Now, some people might try to dissuade you from eating Grasshoppers. They might say that Grasshoppers are too sweet to eat. I say no! No, they are not too sweet! No, they are not too fattening! We should all strive together for a country where a cookie will be judged, not by the content of its ingredient list, but by the rich flavors of chocolate and mint. A country where all will be free at last...to eat Grasshoppers.

On a side note, the breezy weather was absolutely gorgeous tonight. Jonny and I went on a nice walk, and it was cool enough to feel very comfortable in a sweatshirt. The fall is coming!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Poem

Vagabond Song

There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood--
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir.
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

by Bliss Carmen

I love this poem. It is a beautiful way to welcome in the month of October, and all of the very autumn things in it. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Long Tag

I've been meaning to do this tag for a long time, and finally got around to it this morning while I was avoiding doing homework!

The Blogger BUCKET LIST. You're supposed to put a star (*) next to everything that you have ever done, a dash (-) next to the things you would never do, and a pound (#) next to things you would love to do. So here is my list:
1. Touched an iceberg #
2. Slept under the stars *
3. Been a part of a hockey fight -
4. Changed a baby's diaper *
5. Watched a meteor shower *
6. Given more than you can afford to charity *
7. Swam with wild dolphins #
8. Climbed a mountain *
9. Held a tarantula*
10. Said "I love you" and meant it*
11. Bungee jumped -
12. Visited Paris #
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea #
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise *
15. Seen the Northern Lights #
16. Gone to a huge sports game *
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty #
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables #
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope*
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment*
21. Had a pillow fight*
22. Bet on a winning horse -
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill*
24. Built a snow fort*
25. Held a lamb #
26. Gone skinny dipping -
27. Taken an ice cold bath *
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar #
29. Seen a total eclipse*
30. Ridden a roller coaster*
31. Hit a home run #
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking *
33. Adopted an accent for fun*
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors *
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment*
36. Loved your job 90% of the time*
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied #
38. Watched wild whales #
39. Gone rock climbing*
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach*
41. Gone sky diving #
42. Visited Ireland #
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant -
44. Visited India #
45. Bench-pressed your own weight -
46. Milked a cow #
47. Alphabetized your personal files #
48. Ever worn a superhero costume*
49. Sung karaoke*
50. Lounged around in bed all day*
51. Gone scuba diving#
52. Kissed in the rain#
53. Played in the mud*
54. Gone to a drive-in theater*
55. Done something you should regret, but don't*
56. Visited the Great Wall of China*
57. Started a business#
58. Taken a martial arts class*
59. Been in a movie*
60. Gone without food for 3 days-
61. Made cookies from scratch*
62. Won first prize in a costume contest#
63. Got or given flowers for no reason*
64. Been in a combat zone-
65. Spoken more than one language fluently*
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone*
67. Bounced a check*
68. Read - and understood - your credit report#
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy*
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did*
71. Called or written your Congress person*
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over-
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge#
74. Helped an animal give birth#
75. Been fired or laid off from a job-
76. Won money*
77. Broken a bone-
78. Ridden a motorcycle*
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph*
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon*
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing#
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days#
83. Eaten sushi*
84. Had your picture in the newspaper*
85. Read The Bible cover to cover *
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about#
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions-
88. Gone back to school*
89. Changed your name-
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands-
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes*
92. Read The Iliad*
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch#
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating-
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt*
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language*
97. Been elected to public office-
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream*
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care-
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you#
101. Had a booth at a street fair*
102. Dyed your hair*
103. Been a DJ-
104. Rocked a baby to sleep*
105. Dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours-
106. Raked your carpet-
107. Brought out the best in people*
108. Brought out the worst in people*
109. Worn a mood ring*
110. Ridden a horse*
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe#
113. Buried a child-
114. Gone to a Broadway show *
115. Been inside the pyramids#
116. Shot a basketball into a basket*
117. Danced at a disco*
118. Played in a band*
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum*
121. Tutored someone*
122. Ridden a train*
123. Brought an old fad back into style-
124. Eaten caviar#
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need*
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant*
127. Published a book#
128. Pieced a quilt*
129. Lived in an historic place*
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage*
131. Asked for a raise*
132. Made a hole-in-one-
133. Gone deep sea fishing*
134. Gone roller skating*
135. Run a marathon#
136. Learned to surf #
137. Invented something#
138. Flown first class#
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite#
140. Flown in a helicopter#
141. Visited Africa#
142. Sang a solo*
143. Gone spelunking*
144. Learned how to take a compliment*
145. Written a love-story*
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David#
147. Had your portrait painted-
148. Written a fan letter*
149. Spent the night in something haunted#
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane#
151. Ran away *
152. Learned to juggle#
153. Been a boss - does a supervisor count? *
154. Sat on a jury#
155. Lied about your weight*
156. Gone on a diet-
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget*
158. Written a poem*
159. Carried your lunch in a lunchbox*
160. Gotten food poisoning-
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission*
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon*
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks*
164. Gone to the opera*
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous*
166. Worn knickers -
167. Ridden in a limousine#
168. Attended the Olympics#
169. Can hula or waltz *
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books*
171. Been stuck in an elevator -
172. Had a revelatory dream*
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane-
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert #
175. Saved someone’s life#
176. Eaten raw whale-
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint *
178. Laughed till your side hurt*
179. Straddled the equator #
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing *
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival#
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel *
184. Been a cashier*
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt #
186. Joined a union-
187. Donated blood or plasma*
188. Built a campfire*
189. Kept a blog*
190. Had hives-
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots -
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation *
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course -
194. Served at a soup kitchen*
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube#
196. Know CPR#
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible*
198. Found a long lost friend*
199. Helped solve a crime#
200. Hiked a really tall mountain. *

I tag whoever wants to attempt this post.

Blast from the Past

I was tagged by Lori...as one of the people who stalk her blog!

1. Did you date someone from your school? Nope. I wasn't too much of a dater then. I went on dates, but never had a boyfriend until college.

2. What kind of car did you drive? Volkswagon Golf. Lucy! She was red, and such a cute little 5-speed. Sad day, there was an accident and she didn't survive the crash.

3. Were you a party animal? No. I liked hanging out with friends, but sometimes preferred to read... :)

4. Were you considered a flirt? Nope. I didn't know how to act around guys! Hence, my answer to number 1.

5. Were you in band, orchestra or choir? I was in choir. I loved it! We had some good times, crazy inside jokes, and I loved the sound of a really good choir singing together. And I liked our trip to Disneyland!

6. Were you on any varsity teams? No. I ran cross country and track, though, and really enjoyed those sports. I was just good enough that I occasionally beat my own personal times. Not much of a speedster. But I like to run for the way it makes me feel rather than the speed.

7. What was your school's full name? Flagstaff High School.

8. School mascot? The Eagles.

9. If you could go back and do it again, would you? No. There's a time and a season for high school, and a time and a season for now. I liked a lot of my experiences in high school, and I liked my friends, but I like even better who I am and the people that I associate with now.

10. What do you remember most about graduation? When we lined up to begin filing down onto the dome floor, my stomach started to go crazy. I didn't feel nauseous, but my stomach was pinching in weird places...almost like I was really hungry. I've never experienced anything like that because of nerves, before or since graduation. Don't know what that was. And then, the other thing I remember was that Jess Koehn had been jumping on a trampoline at a party the night before, and he bit through his bottom lip. I remember thinking that I would be so disappointed if I had to take graduation pictures with a swollen lower lip like that.

11. Were you in any clubs? I was in the National Honors Society, and the Speech and Debate team. And my senior year I did Science Olympiad.

12. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? Yeah, I would love to go. I think it will be interesting to see where people are at that point in their lives.

I tag Emily and Benjamin, Alisha, Ginger, and Megan...or anyone else who wants to do it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Two Good Things - Part IV

Hmmmm...This is turning into a Two Good Things blog. I´ll have to start finding more interesting things in my life to blog about!

"Here was our prompt for the night: Write a thank you card for a bad gift you'll never use because you hate it." Just a quick clarification: This is fiction. I'll specify if anything I write for TGT is real.

Dear Aunt Maud,
I was completely surprised by the birthday gift you sent me. The joy it brought me was...indescribable. From the neon yellow and green wrapping paper to the baby blue card, it took a very short time to see that this present spelled out "fun," unlike the inside of he card, where pretty much everything was misspelled, including my name (It's Merry, not Meri). And the gift was good too. I can always accept another crocheted hot pad in my house. Many thanks,


Meh. Some of the other thank you notes written by the other girls were really funny. I enjoyed listening to them, mostly. I feel like I learn a lot from what they have to say about life, the universe, and everything. They told me that I should start taking notes on the things they say about their marriages and husbands (all three of them are married).

One thing that one of them said tonight was that she wants her husband to compliment her on the clean house when he comes home, and to work to keep it clean. She compared it to his school career: "We don't get A's and B's. We get oohs and ahs." She meant, women who are stay at home moms don't get chances to gain recognition very often, unless their husbands make sure to notice their domestic achievements.

More tomorrow...I'll post pictures of my latest adventure!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Two Good Things - Part III

Our prompt this Thursday was "Write a short story based on the mixed proverb 'Bad News Cures All Things.'" My short story includes some facts from life, mixed with some fiction to help the story along. If you think you recognize yourself in it, it's probably you, but I will never admit it! Here's what I wrote:

The day had been the worst day of my college career. I accidentally slept in, making myself late to my 6 am job. I knew my boss would be furious with me because it was the 2nd time I'd been late that week. Fortunately she decided to express her anger by giving me the silent treatment and told me to get to work without addressing the issue.

The reason I was sleeping in that week was because of the late hours I was putting into a group project for my English class. We had to write a 15-page paper about a controversial issue, incorporating original research that we had done through a survey on campus. My group already had the survey done, and we had met late the night before to analyze the data we'd gathered so we could generate ideas on how to incorporate it into our research paper. The data was good and I knew we would be able to include it.

The late night study session had really tired me, however, and I was paying for it. I had a long list of things to do after work, and no energy to do them. At the top of the list was the next step for our project: to check on the progress of our IRB approval that was required for the publication of data gathered from experimentation (including surveying) on human subjects. I put this off until the end of the day, though, because even though it was the most important thing to do, it was the least urgent. After all of the immediately important things were taken care of, I walked up to the administrative building on campus where the research office was housed.

"We sent you notification in the mail over a week ago."

The words rang in my ears as I slowly walked home, perusing the 3-page document of changes that we had to make to our IRB paperwork before it would even be considered for review. I was devastated. The paperwork had been submitted for almost 2 weeks, and I had expected to go back to my group with the good news of our proposal being accepted already.

My mood sank lower as I mulled over the work that lay ahead of me that night. I amost didn't see Neal as I walked by.

"Hey Merry!"

He was like a ray of sunshine breaking through the clouds.


"That wasn't very enthusiastic. Tell me what's wrong."

As the details tripped out of my mouth, his expression showed his concern for how stressed I was. But I couldn't focus on it because of the fingers I felt twining around mine. This was the first time we'd held hands. Maybe my stressful situation wasn't so bad after all.

Okay, so it's a little cheesy. The sunshine-through-the-clouds phrase is so cliche. But I was pressed for time, and I thought it was a creative idea. And, as always, it was fun to get together with the girls and chat.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Two Good Things - Part II

I provided the prompt on Thursday. We looked up random words in some books that Chelsea provided, then we tried to use those random words in writing some poems. We didn't have to use all the words, or even most of them. It was just an exercise to get us popping out poetry! It was fun, and produced some funny results. Here's my word list, and my two poems:

eight 0'clock

Poem 1:
5 Brushing leaves fall down;
7 On their journey to the ground
8 Contemplating misbehavior.

Poem 2:
A really trendy thing to do today is
To deface your body:
Tatto it up,
Guzzle down scotch and brandy,
Eat like there's no tomorrow.

I personally like that last trend.
I will take the beautiful blame
For having eaten a whole cake --
By myself --
Between the hours of 7:30 am and 8 0'clock.

Later that day my jaws
Were aching for ice cream.
I salivated as I contemplated
The 3 Klondike bars I had
Waiting for my lunch.

In my defense...
Oh, wait, I have none.
I was just following the crowd?

No masterpieces, but it was very fun to write! And it was fun to sit with those women and chat. Chelsea hosts the club at her house. Sarah is fun and has brought her kids with her in the past occasionally when her husband wasn't able to baby-sit. And yesterday she brought her sister with her little boy and I had fun playing with him. Yay for Two Good Things!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I started this post before midnight

I have thought about so many things that I wanted to blog about tonight, but I can't think of any that sound interesting to me anymore. Why do I wait until things don't sound interesting to me anymore? Which really means, why do I wait until I'm too tired to write anything well enough to make it sound interesting anymore?

I started classes yesterday. And I am going to be insanely busy this semester! I really am. I have 4 classes that I have to pass to graduate this December, and 1 class that I want to take but will probably end up having to drop so that I have more time to do the work for my other classes. And they're all linguistics classes! I'm such a nerd! I've thought of several linguistic phenomena that would be interesting to study, and we'll see which one I choose for my senior seminar class this semester.

Tonight, I felt like I got an answer to a question that I should have asked God but that I hadn't yet because I didn't want the answer that I got tonight. Hmmm. I felt the same thing last night as I was listening to the jazz at the Muse, and I ignored that thought as much as I could. And I ignored it when my friend Jami was saying it to me yesterday afternoon. But tonight I was saying it to my friend Thuy, as she looked for some comfort in her life because of a recent heart break. And I couldn't ignore it anymore when I was the one that was saying it. The idea was something that Thuy needed to hear, and I was the one that she turned to to hear it, and in the process I really "heard" it deep in my heart and realized that it was true. Man, I hate when I'm right! I don't like to have to make changes that aren't what I want but that I know are right.

Sorry, I know. Another enigmatic post. If this were an anonymous blog I could right all the details because no one would know who I was talking about or who I was, and no one would probably care! But since it isn't, and people do (at least know who I am), those of you who really want to know the details and actually think I'll tell you can contact me and ask me for said details.

In other news, I stopped by a Seventh Day Adventist church on my way home from campus and waited until the time that they had posted for their Wednesday Prayer Meeting, because I thought it would be interesting to worship in a way different from what I'm used to. No one showed up. But I'll try again. I have all semester walking past that building. And I'm determined to visit the room in the Wilkinson Center that has been set aside for Friday prayers for the Muslims on campus, which thing I've been meaning to do for several semesters now.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

That's the title of a song I heard played tonight at The Muse. It was written by Joe Zawinul for Julian "Cannonball" Adderley for his album Mercy, Mercy, Mercy! Live at "The Club". Wow! That was good jazz! It was good just to sit and listen to the jazz, to be able to jive in my seat and think my thoughts, and be happy. The tenor and alto sax, the drums, the bass guitar, and the keyboard sounded so good together. All of them did solos at one point or another, and they were really good. I went with Alanna Allen, a former mission companion of mine, and her sister Alise, who's entering the MTC tomorrow to serve her mission in Tennessee! Alanna knew several members of the band, so I got to meet some of them; the drummer Matt, the bass guitarist Matt, and the saxiphonist Jorey. I liked the atmosphere, I liked the company, and I liked the jazz. Good times.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Rules of the Game

This blog is like my journal. And like my journal, I am probably not going to write much in it when I'm in a bad mood, or at least I won't write about the bad mood. So if you ever think that I'm not writing frequently, or that I'm writing really short, pointless messages, it's probably because...that's right, you guessed it: I'm in a bad mood. Just letting you know.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Beautiful Life

Two things to write about tonight:

1. Yesterday as I was driving around south of campus, I saw a guy getting out of his car with a huge bouquet of flowers. He walked up the sidewalk to a house. That's all that happened that I saw.

2. Tonight as I was driving home from a party Cousin Rachel invited me to, I saw lightening and heard thunder, and my immediate thought was that I should go hop the fence into the cemetery just down the street and sit somewhere in there to watch the display. This may seem odd, but I've been thinking about visiting that cemetery ever since I found out I was going to be living this close to it, which has been since early July. I think it will be a quiet place to contemplate life if I ever follow through with that urge. Which I will not do tonight...I know my mother would probably be horrified...not at the sitting in the cemetery part, but the jumping the fence part.

These two experiences are part of what I'd like to consider the realm of possibility. My wonderful cousin Geneil told me once (in her own words of course) that what she missed from single life, now that she's absolutely blissfully married, is the feeling that when you wake up in the morning there is a cloud of possibility that hangs over you, making anything possible. And ever since she said that to me, I've realized that it's true. I could go jump the fence to the cemetery. I have the possibility of getting flowers in the future (daisies please). And there are an infinite number of possibilities in my life to look forward to and choose from. Beautiful life!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two Good Things

Tonight I went back to my friend Chelsea's house. I attended a writing club she invited me to, Two Good Things. The two good things are writing and dessert. And boy were they good! The way it works is that someone brings a dessert, and it's the motivation for the writing (I mean, maybe some people are motivated to write just for itself, but the dessert doesn't hurt!). Another person comes with a prompt to give the others, and we take a chunk of time - however long we want - to respond to the prompt. Then we share what we wrote while we eat. Our prompt tonight was a question from a book about creative writing: What things do you like in good novels? What things do you not like in novels? Discuss. Here is my response:

Things I like in a novel:
*suspenseful chapter endings
*good dialogue
*symbolic description
*fun quotes
*realistic love
*thwarted love
*loyal characters
*sad endings
*happy endings
*(subtle) humor

Things I don't like in a novel:
*cheesy jokes
*gratuitous sex scenes
*endless sentences
*assuming that the reader knows too much about something
*unrealistic goals/plot advancement
*no plot
*illogical jumps

As you can see, these lists are no work of art, but I think that it might help me as I prepare to write more for our club. I plan on posting my work on this blog each week, so we'll see how/if I improve. And while I'm sure I won't be producing anything like Henry Van Dyke's The Three Best Things, I will definitely get Two Good Things on Thursdays!